Tax tips for the self-employed

Thorough accounting is required to back up your claims for deductions.

Matthew Elder 5 June, 2017 | 5:00PM

Being self-employed suggests independence -- from an employer and from the tax man. But that doesn't necessarily suggest an easy ride. Being your own boss can mean inconsistent income and no group benefits. And making the most of the available tax deductions requires a lot of work on the accounting side.

That said, diligent bookkeeping is a staple of any well-run business. The following is a summary of the key issues related to deducting expenses for tax purposes that need to be addressed by a typical sole proprietor/consultant, who is a supplier of services only (not goods).

Note that the deadline for those reporting 2016 self-employment income on their tax returns is June 15. However, if you were required to pay any outstanding tax amount -- above and beyond quarterly installment payments already made last year -- it should be paid by April 30. Otherwise, you'll have to pay interest on overdue taxes.

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Matthew Elder

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